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The Colossal Costs of Building UK’s Monster Surveillance Network

Sputnik – 22.03.2016

The UK will have to build a mammoth network of Internet surveillance centers if the government passes its Investigatory Powers Bill – dubbed the the Snoopers’ Charter – into law.

The proposal, which the Home Office wants to rush through the House of Commons just after Easter, will cost the country billions of pounds. The centers will be required to keep large databases of all the connections made by UK Internet users for one year — and to share them automatically with the UK’s government and intelligence agencies.

The government is bracing itself for the vote as the news arrives that the only other country in the world to have ever tried a similar approach — Denmark — has just decided to abandon the plan, for the second time in ten years.

The first Danish “session logging” system was put into place in 2007, but was abandoned in 2013 after the country’s police and security services found it to be practically useless — besides being very expensive for Internet providers to install and operate.

Another attempt to build an improved system, carried out by the Danish Ministry of Justice at the start of March 2016 also appears to have foundered.

Before the final decision was taken, the Danish government asked accounting firm Ernst & Young to ascertain how much the new surveillance network would cost.

The experts found that total expenses would be around one billion Danish Krone (US$150 million). The Danish government decided that the costs were too high for the country and its tech sector.

In the UK, the costs are likely to be much-much higher. If in Denmark — a country of 5.6 million people — the government estimated that each citizen would produce about 62,000 records every year, in Britain, whose population is about ten times the size of Denmark’s, the final annual database would have to include about four trillion a year.

Other estimates suggest that the sheer amount of records could even hit tens of trillions every year. That is because each of those records, as per the law, would have to contain: a customer account reference or device identifier; the date and time of the event; the duration; the source and destination IP and port number of each session; the domain name or linked URL; the volume of data; and the name of Internet service you connected to.

The UK will have to find a way to store an enormous amount of information every day — even if each record’s weight was brought down to 100 bytes, on a yearly level, we are talking exabytes (thousands of petabytes).

The only surefire way to deal with this information is by building new massive data centers, which will need at least US$140 million in equipment to handle each exabyte. Add the building, as well as cooling and electricity management and you have only started understanding the eventual costs of the UK’s new monster surveillance plans.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces raid, confiscate items from Jenin-area university


Ma’an – March 22, 2016

JENIN – Israeli forces overnight Monday raided the campus of the Arab American University in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and confiscated items — including computers and flags — from student union offices.

The university’s public relations department told Ma’an that 11 Israeli military vehicles stormed the campus grounds at 1 a.m. and broke into the office of the Dean of Students, as well as a number of offices belonging to the student union.

The Israeli soldiers broke down doors and destroyed property in the offices before seizing flags of student union blocs as well as two computers and paper documents, the department said.

The university’s administration released a statement denouncing “Israel’s aggressive policy which violates the sanctity of university campus.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah immediately condemned the raid.

“This is not the first time that the Arab American University and other Palestinian educational institutions have been subjected to arbitrary Israeli raids,” the PM said, citing raids on Birzeit University and the Kadoorie Institute in recent months.

“I reiterate our call for international protection,” Hamdallah said. “Israel should not be allowed to continue to act above the law. The international community witnessed yet another violation of the sanctity of Palestinian educational institutions, and it should not remain silent.”

The Israeli army said in a statement that Israeli forces had “uncovered and confiscated inciting propaganda materials linked to multiple terror organizations including Hamas” inside the university, adding that the operation was “based on intelligence information.”

“In the recent wave of terror we’ve witnessed how incitement fuels acts of violence and terrorism,” the statement said. “Efforts as this prevent future attacks.”

In addition to the statement, the army released what it said were “visuals from the overnight activity” — photographs of an Islamic Jihad flag and a Hamas one, as well as a poster depicting three recently slain Palestinian attackers, referred to as “martyrs.”

Political flags and posters are commonly found items across the occupied West Bank, with posters of martyrs appearing throughout every West Bank town and village.

Palestinian universities and their students in the occupied West Bank are frequently targeted by Israeli military forces, and campuses have come under increased military presence since an increase in violence in October.

Earlier this month Israeli forces raided the Khadoorie Institute — also known as Palestine Technical University — twice in an 18-hour period.

The Tulkarem-area campus has seen heavy military presence in the past. Student-organized marches in October to protest Israeli violations and raids onto the campus eventually resulted in Israeli forces positioning themselves at a temporary base on university property.

Dozens of university students have been injured by Israeli military forces since.

Birzeit University near Ramallah meanwhile has reported dozens of student detentions, while Abu Dis’ al-Quds Open University has often found itself a focal point of violent clashes between Palestinian students and Israeli soldiers.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Surprise: Flying Nuclear Bombers Overhead Tends to Increase Tensions

Sputnik – 22.03.2016

The recent and historical record on US nuclear “signaling,” or flying nuclear armed aircraft over opposition nations, shows that it increases the risk of conflict and war.

1020731020In an editorial this week, military defense experts Adam Lowther and Chris Winklepleck argue that the strategic aircraft arm of the US nuclear triad provides unique “nuclear signaling” and serves a critical deterrence role in US military strategy.

Recent and historical evidence, however, shows that their claim lacks merit, as brandishing nuclear weapons only serves to exacerbate tensions and heighten the risk of conflict, former nuclear weapons expert at Los Alamos National Lab Jim Doyle writes for Defense News.

South Korea saw nuclear flyovers by the US in 2013 and 2016 using B-2 and B-52 aircraft, but the maneuvers have done nothing to diminish tensions on the Korean peninsula nor have they been a corrective to Pyongyang’s militaristic brinksmanship.

Recent North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests show that nuclear signaling does not achieve its desired effect. Reports out of Pyongyang suggest that US nuclear flyovers have been used instead by the Kim regime to increase domestic support for the dictatorship by confirming that a threat exists.

Specifically, the 2013 “long-range show of presence missions” by the US on the Korean peninsula was followed by North Korea’s restart of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor one month later. Following the second show of presence mission in 2016, DPRK conducted a fourth nuclear test explosion and expedited ballistic missile production and testing.

While military experts may write off aggressive North Korean military response as an anomaly, citing the country’s sometimes incoherent foreign policy, history points to the ineffectiveness of similar missions elsewhere.

On October 27, 1969, Doyle writes, the Nixon administration attempted to “signal” to the Soviet Union and the Viet Cong, in what became known as the “madman nuclear alert,” that Nixon was aggressive enough to launch a nuclear attack against North Vietnam if Moscow did not pressure the Hanoi government to seek peace. In that effort, 18 B-52s approached the USSR from the arctic. The posturing failed, heightening tensions with the Soviet Union, and doing nothing to resolve the Vietnam quagmire.

History shows that nuclear deterrence by means of mutually assured destruction is not an effective way to keep the peace, especially when global economic and political interests seek to end the threat of nuclear weapons. Research illustrates heightened tensions and conflict in the use of nuclear signaling. Nations seeking peace have no need to wield a larger club.

Photo – © Flickr/ Christopher Ebdon

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Saudi regime detains top Shia scholar in Eastern Province


Senior Saudi cleric Ayatollah Hussein al-Radhi
Press TV – March 22, 2016

The Saudi regime’s security forces have arrested a prominent Shia cleric over his anti-regime comments as Riyadh continues its crackdown on the minority sect.

Media reports said on Tuesday that security forces arrested Ayatollah Hussein al-Radhi shortly after he led prayers in the al-Ahsa oasis region of Eastern Province.

The detention came after the senior cleric wrote an article in which he criticized the House of Saud for jailing and executing critics and dissidents, including Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr who was beheaded in January.

Al-Radi had also infuriated the monarchy by denouncing the ongoing deadly Saudi airstrikes which have claimed lives of more than 8,000 civilians in Yemen.

Riyadh has been under fire from international organizations and rights groups over the rising number of civilian casualties in Yemen. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has recently said that Saudi Arabia and its allies may be committing crimes against humanity due to their indiscriminate killing of civilians in Yemen.

The senior cleric had also strongly denounced a decision by the Saudi-led [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council to brand Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Saudi Arabia has been denounced by rights groups for its grave human rights abuses and harsh crackdown on all forms of dissent.

The Shia-dominated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.

Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners. They want an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region.

Reports on protests in Qatif are scant, as Saudi authorities allow foreign news media to visit the region only if accompanied by government officials, claiming it is to ensure journalists’ safety.

Shia Muslims have long complained of entrenched discrimination in a country where the semi-official Wahhabi school condones violence against them. They face abuse from Wahhabi clerics, rarely get permits for places of worship and seldom get senior public sector jobs. Shia religious centers have also been target of a series of terror attacks across the region over the past few months.

Those basic complaints have over the years been aggravated by what residents across the Shia-majority call heavy-handed security measures against their community. They accuse the authorities of unfair detentions and punishments, shooting unarmed protesters and torturing suspects.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Tractatus Terroismo Philosophicus

By Gilad Atzmon | March 22, 2016

If terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims

then to surrender to terror is to become a terrorist

To surrender to terror is to retaliate using violence and genocidal tactics in the pursuit of Globalist political aims

But the West can’t become a terrorist

For the West was already a terrorist

For decades we have been using violence and genocidal tactics against Muslims in the name of Coca Cola and Zion

To fight terrorism for real is to say NO to an ‘eye for an eye’

To defeat terrorism is to turn the other cheek

To eliminate terrorism is to look at ourselves and ask why?

Why do they hate us? What did we do to deserve all this?

To beat terrorism is to depart from Jerusalem and return to Athens

Can we do that or must we emancipate ourselves first?

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Touting Isolationism, Trump Employs a String of Neoconservative Advisors

Sputnik – 22.03.2016

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump previously indicated that, if elected, his administration would focus on non-interventionist policies. His list of foreign policy advisers, released on Monday, says otherwise.

As a businessman with no governing experience, foreign policy has always been an especially vulnerable aspect of the billionaire’s presidential campaign. As Trump inches closer to the Republican nomination, his campaign has begun to shift gears, as he will likely face-off against former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

To distance himself from the Democratic frontrunner, he appears to have adopted an isolationist viewpoint. During an interview with the Washington Post on Monday, Trump questioned the need for the NATO alliance.

“We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” he said. “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”

Trump stated a similar position with regards to US involvement on the Korean peninsula.

“South Korea is [a] very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do,” he said. “We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games – we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”

But while Trump may be voicing support for non-interventionism, his actions suggest otherwise. The billionaire provided the Post with the five-member list of his foreign policy team, and it includes a string of individuals deeply invested in the military industrial complex.

At the top of that list is Keith Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant. Kellogg is a former employee of CACI International, a “multinational professional services and information technology company” that operates across the world.

In 2004, CACI was sued by 256 Iraqis over its alleged involvement in torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, in relation to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Next on Trump’s list is Joe Schmitz, a former inspector general with the US Defense Department and, perhaps even more problematically for Trump’s isolationism, a former employee of security contractor Academi, when the company was still branded as Blackwater.

While Academi was still known as Blackwater, the contractor was vilified after its employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007. For his part, Schmitz once publicly argued that lawsuits regarding Blackwater’s actions in Afghanistan should be dismissed. He argued that any charges filed in Afghanistan should be subject to regional Sharia law, which, conveniently, does not hold companies responsible for the actions of its employees.

George Papadopoulos, Trump’s third adviser, is the director of the Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security at the London Center of International Law. While he doesn’t have as questionably hawkish a past as Schmitz and Kellogg, he was a foreign policy adviser to erstwhile presidential hopeful Ben Carson. Given that the neurosurgeon candidate struggled to differentiate “Hamas” from “hummus,” it doesn’t bode well for Trump.

Dr. Walid Phares, another Trump pick, is a professor at the National Defense University in Washington DC. Phares is a former adviser to a violent Christian militia group responsible for a number of human rights violations during the Lebanese Civil War. According to Adam Sewer, writing for Mother Jones, Phares has been described by his colleagues as “one of the group’s chief ideologists, working closely with the Lebanese Forces’ Fifth Bureau, a unit that specialized in psychological warfare.”

Phares served in 2012 as a top adviser to former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who ran on a promise to “deter Russian ambitions.”

The last name on Trump’s list is Carter Page, a managing partner at private equity firm Global Energy Capital. A former fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Page worked on US-style “economic development” in the Caspian Sea region and in former Soviet states.

Trump may claim that he seeks to reign in US adventurism, but based on the records of his chosen advisers, a Trump presidency would likely mean business as usual.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Non-negotiable’: Clinton attacks Trump at AIPAC for ‘neutrality’ remarks about Israel

RT | March 21, 2016

In a speech to the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton took Republican front-runner Donald Trump to task for voicing a “neutral” position on Israeli-Palestinian talks.

“We need steady hands,” Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, told thousands of attendees at the AIPAC conference in Washington, DC on Monday. Not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who-knows-what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable.

Israel’s security, she proclaimed to loud applause, is non-negotiable.”

Clinton’s criticism of Trump, while not naming him directly, stemmed from remarks he made during a CNN-hosted Republican debate on February 26, when all of the candidates were asked about their stances on Israel and a peace agreement between the Jewish State and Palestine.

Trump said he supported Israel but added, “As president there is nothing I wouldn’t do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors. It is probably the toughest negotiation in the world. I am pro-Israel. It doesn’t do any good to take sides against the neighbors,” said Trump. “If I could bring peace it would be one of my greatest achievements.”

Clinton told AIPAC about her long ties to Israel, having first visited the country 35 years ago. Then she moved on to highlight her work as a New York senator and as secretary of state, all of which led to a “deepening and strengthening the US ties to Israel” and supporting a “secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people,” according to Clinton.

The Democratic presidential hopeful said the US couldn’t be neutral when “rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. Some things aren’t negotiable, and anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business being our president.”

A new president from day one, Clinton told conference goers, will immediately face a world of “both perils and opportunities.”

“The next president… [will] start making decisions that will affect the lives and livelihoods of Americans and the security of our friends around the world, so we have to get this right,” Clinton said.

“Candidates for president who think the United States can outsource Middle East security to dictators, or that America no longer has vital, national interests at stake in this region are dangerously wrong,” said Clinton. “It would be a serious mistake for the United States to abandon our responsibilities or cede the mantel of leadership for global peace and security to anyone else.”

Clinton pointed to three evolving threats in the Middle East: “Iran’s continued aggression, a rising tide of extremism across a wide arc of instability, and the growing effort to de-legitimize Israel on the world stage,” which she noted make the “US-Israel alliance more indispensable than ever.”

“We have to combat these trends with even more security and diplomacy,” said Clinton.

While Trump was due to address AIPAC later on Monday, Clinton also referred to his proposal to temporarily ban all foreign Muslims from entering the US and “playing coy with white supremacists.”

“We’ve had dark chapters in our history before,” Clinton said, pointing to America’s refusal to allow a ship packed with Jewish refugees to dock in the US in 1939.

“But America should be better than this, and I believe it’s our responsibility as citizens to say so. If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him,” Clinton said, receiving a standing ovation from the group.

AIPAC bills itself as nonpartisan and has never endorsed a candidate, but the organization does play a big role in partisan political debates over issues of interest to Israel.

A group of rabbis and other pro-Israel leaders were planning to protest Trump’s speech. Clinton’s comments were well-received, as the audience of Israel supporters loudly cheered throughout her address, not just when she was taking swipes at Trump.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Dismantle the disastrous deal’: Trump tells AIPAC Iran deal is ‘number one priority’

RT | March 22, 2016

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump told attendees at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference that he didn’t come to pander, saying “that’s what politicians do,” but he did make a promise related to the Iran nuclear deal.

“My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” Trump said, speaking before AIPAC in Washington, DC on Monday evening. “I have been in business a long time… this deal is catastrophic for Israel – for America, for the whole of the Middle East… We have rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $ 150 billion and we received absolutely nothing in return.”

Trump criticized the deal for not requiring Iran to dismantle its military nuclear capability and only limiting its nuclear program for a certain number of years. He chastised Iran for contributing to problems in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia by providing weapons and money.

“Iran is financing military forces throughout the Middle East and it is absolutely indefensible that we handed them over $150 billion to facilitate even more acts of terror,” added Trump. “During the last five years, Iran has perpetrated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the western hemisphere very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach.”

He then slammed the United Nations, decrying it for its utter weakness and incompetence and arguing that it was “not a friend” of democracy, freedom, the United States, or Israel, while also vowing to veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state.

“With President Obama in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on the terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine,” Trump said. “Let me be clear: An agreement imposed by the UN would be a total and complete disaster. The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto. Why? Because that’s now how you make a deal. Deals are made when parties come to the table and negotiate.”

Other Republican presidential candidates spoke before and after Trump at AIPAC.

Ohio Governor John Kasich stressed his experience in foreign policy.

“I don’t need on the job training,” Kasich told the audience on Monday, explaining he already knows about the dangers facing the US and its allies. He stressed his “firm and unwavering” support for Israel and vowed to work to stamp out intolerance, racism, and anti-Semitism.

Kasich called for the suspension of the Iran nuclear deal in response to recent ballistic missile tests, which he said were a violation.

“We are Americans before we are Republicans and Democrats,” he said, adding, “I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz also spoke at AIPAC after Trump. He attacked the billionaire businessman for promising to be “neutral” in brokering a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

“As president, I will not be neutral,” said Cruz. He added, “America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel.”

Anti-Trump protesters gathered outside the venue to voice their anger over Trump’s brash political rhetoric and his attendance at the conference.

The leader of one of Washington’s most prominent synagogues said that he felt compelled to denounce Trump as he spoke at a conference of Israeli activists.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of the Ohev Sholom congregation wept as he described to reporters the importance of standing up to what he viewed as Trump’s hatred, describing him as “wicked.”

“This man is inspiring violence,” Herzfeld said, according to the Associated Press. “He is an existential threat to our country.”

“This man is wicked,” Herzfeld added, referring to Trump. “He inspires racists and bigots. He encourages violence. Do not listen to him.”

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Makes Same Promise on Jerusalem We’ve Been Hearing Since 1972

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep In America | March 21, 2016

Breaking news!

The news media is abuzz today with reports that, speaking before the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, an annual gathering of rabid right-wing Israel supporters, a presidential candidate vowed to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

So who was it this time? Donald Trump.

So why is this news? It’s not.

Promising to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and to move the American embassy there is part of Pandering 101 for Oval Office hopefuls. Every candidate in the past few decades knows this. It’s an easy vow to make, and no one ever pays any political price for inevitably breaking it (since half of Jerusalem remains occupied territory and actually moving the embassy there would be a clear violation of international law, which doesn’t recognize Israel’s claim over the historic city). Making such an absurd promise plays well to the writhing masses at AIPAC confabs, establishes one’s Zionist bona fides, and is a quick and easy way to offend indigenous Palestinians living under occupation, apartheid and blockade without actually flipping them the bird.

Nevertheless, the press continues to report on this blustery promise, no matter who utters it, as if it actually merits attention.

While he repeated the promise today for AIPAC, Trump had already said it back in January. And Ted Cruz has too:

And Jeb Bush before him:

So did Mitt Romney in 2012:

And Ron Paul and Rick Santorum the same year before they dropped out of the race:

And Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann (and Herman Cain) before them:

Both John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin made the promise back in 2008:

Four years earlier, John Kerry did the same, while also touting his record of making similar demands during his tenure in the Senate:

Before that was Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000. As reported by The New York Times in May 2000:

(Supporters of moving the embassy were subsequently disappointed in Bush’s failure to act on his promise.)

The year before, while beginning her campaign for New York’s Senatorial seat, the then-First Lady Hillary Clinton weighed in on the matter herself:

In the mid-1990s, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich similarly pandered like pros:

Before that, in 1992, the Clinton/Gore campaign hit the incumbent Bush administration for balking at the official recognition of “Israel’s sovereignty over a united Jerusalem.” Their campaign promised voters that “Bill Clinton and Al Gore will… support Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”

Even Mike Dukakis tacked to the right of both the outgoing Reagan administration and George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988:

Al Gore, who tried to win the Democratic nomination for president that year, reportedly said in September 1987 that “he would consider moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

In April 1984, during a heated Democratic primary season, Walter Mondale and Gary Hart bent over backwards to assure voters in New York City that they too supported moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The New York Times reported at the time:

Walter F. Mondale said he had supported such a move for 20 years, and he asserted that Senator Gary Hart had changed his position on the issue five days ago. In the past two weeks, Mr. Hart has denied that he suddenly changed his position, but has said his position has ”evolved.” He has said firmly that if he became President, he would move the embassy to Jerusalem.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is the only one of the three candidates who opposes moving the embassy. The Reagan Administration also opposes such a move because the status of Jerusalem has long been disputed and the United States does not support Israeli sovereignty over the city.

Despite efforts by New York Senator Daniel Moynihan and California Congressman Tom Lantos to introduce a bill mandating the move, Reagan was adamant about not moving the embassy, as such a divisive policy would, according to his Secretary of State George P. Shultz, “be very bad for the United States” and “damage our ability to be effective in the peace process.”

The pandering was so thick, however, that a month later the Reagan administration had to pretend to consider supporting the move in order to stave off losing votes in the upcoming election.

Though the bill eventually stalled, Los Angeles Times syndicated columnist Nick Thimmesch, who called the proposal “one of the dumbest ideas to be advanced in Congress this session,” lamented that “some of the election-year pandering in the Republic verges on the obscene” and credited the ill-conceived gambit to the lawmakers’ “blind obedience to the Israel lobby (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee).” That was October 3, 1984.

By 1986, another bill was introduced to move the embassy, this time brought to the Senate floor by Republican Jesse Helms.

But even in the mid-1980s, though, this was an old political ploy. The New York Times pointed out that the 1976 Democratic Party platform – on which Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale ran for office – declared:

We recognize and support the established status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with free access to all its holy places provided to all faiths. As a symbol of this stand, the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Before that, on March 17, 1972, Michigan Congressman Gerald Ford, then the Republican Minority Leader, told a Zionist Organization of America regional meeting in Cleveland that the Nixon Administration should transfer the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Two years later, after first replacing Spiro Agnew as Vice President and then becoming President himself following Nixon’s resignation, Ford backtracked on his previous position. “Under the current circumstances and the importance of getting a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, that particular proposal ought to stand aside,” Ford said at his very first presidential press conference on August 9, 1974.

It’s been nearly 42 years since then and, sadly, while Palestine remains under brutal occupation, Israeli colonies continue to expand with impunity, and Palestinians are subject to ongoing oppression and violence, election-year pandering in the United States has become more obscene than ever.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey’s Erdogan Mentions Possible Brussels Bombing Just Days Before Attack

Sputnik -22.03.2016

Less than a week before the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of possible bombings in European cities, including Brussels.

“There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara could not explode in Brussels, or in any other European city,” Erdogan declared during a ceremony commemorating the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli in the coastal town of Canakkale on March 18.

It should be noted that Erdogan’s statement followed the deadly terrorist act of March 13, when a car bomb exploded at a bus stop near Ankara’s central Kizilay Square, leaving 37 dead and over 120 injured. The Turkish head of state blamed Kurdish radicals for the attack and berated European leaders for their refusal to recognize certain Kurdish organizations as terrorist groups.

“The snakes you are sleeping with can bite you at any time,” Erdogan added.

On Tuesday, March 22, the city of Brussels – capital of Belgium and administrative center for both NATO and the EU – was hit by a series of explosions, including two blasts in Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium that left 13 people dead and over 35 injured. An additional 15 people were killed in Tuesday’s explosion at the Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels, local media reported.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments